Student Athletes should not be exempt from gym class

READY, SET, GO. Members of the Sevier track team practice after school. Staying physically fit takes more than just participation in a seasonal sport. Gym class also plays an important role.

Katelyn Burke

READY, SET, GO. Members of the Sevier track team practice after school. Staying physically fit takes more than just participation in a seasonal sport. Gym class also plays an important role.

Maddison Ball, Staff Writer

Thirty-seven states in the U.S. require students to participate in a physical education class. Some people believe that students who play sports for the school should not have to participate in gym class. Student athletes, however, should participate in gym class.

According to the article “Should Athletes be Required to Take Gym?” by Eric Gaudette, “over 95 percent of high schools across the United States require all students to attend these courses.”

In middle and high school, many students participate in sports during the school year. However, many of these student athletes believe they are wasting their time and should be exempt from physical education classes.

Although some students believe taking physical education classes is a “waste of time”, there are many advantages to continuing an athlete’s physical education.

While being a student athlete is a great privilege that may open additional opportunities, there will always be competition for a position on a team.

The article, “Odds of a High School Athlete playing in College” states that “a little over 7% of high school athletes, about 1 in 14, went on to play a varsity sport in college and less than 2% of high school athletes, 1 in 54, went on to play at NCAA Division I schools.”

The odds of becoming a college athlete are slim. If athletes participate in gym class, this just gives them more opportunities to improve. Taking part in a physical education class could improve student athletes’ chances to do great things in the sport they play.

Gym class could be used as a way for students to relieve their stress, as well. Students can have the opportunity to play games with their friends and not have to worry about being rated on skill, but the amount of effort put into the class.

According to the article, “Should Athletes be Exempt From Physical Education?” by Laurel Comiter, “P.E. is a perfect stress reliever in the midst of a busy, stressful school day. School isn’t always a fun and inviting place, and one of the original purposes of P.E. is to create a class where kids’ minds have a release.”

If students do not have a way to relieve stress, it can lead to depression and anxiety.

Students who participate in gym are also exposed to ways that can help them properly exercise, which can help them later in life. Gym can teach ways to exercise that may be more beneficial than ways that are taught during practice for a sport.

In the article, “Should Athletes be Exempt From Physical Education?” Laurel Comiter states “P.E. is a required class for everyone because it teaches more than just sports: the class covers how to keep a healthy and active lifestyle and how to maintain good interpersonal relationships”.

If student athletes are excused from P.E., they miss out on a chance for positive stress relief between periods as well as the opportunity to learn the proper way to exercise, important leadership skills and how to live a healthy life.

With obesity rates on the rise, students benefit from learning to make healthy lifestyle choices.

According to the article, “U.S. Obesity Rates Reach Historic Highs”, “as recently as 2012, no state had an adult obesity rate over 35 percent and within the last five years, 33 states had statistically significant increases in their rates of adult obesity.”

P.E. can teach students ways to make better food choices, increase body movement, and create new healthy behaviors.

Student athletes that continue their physical education in school are mentally and physically healthier people. The entire student body, including athletes, benefit from these classes. All physical education classes are a start.

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